Photo Essays from the American South

Down at the Sweetheart Rink

Photos by Bill Yates

On Oct. 3, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans will open an exhibition of photographs that capture the rural South at a pivotal moment of cultural change. This is the story of the man who shot those pictures — and how they almost never saw the light of day.

A Photographer’s Adventures in the Dirty South

Photos by ZachWolfe

If you want to see the best possible documentation of how the South’s hip-hop scene rose to dominate the entire world of music in the 2000s, there’s only one lens to look through: Zach Wolfe’s.

Southern Route

Photos by Tamara Reynolds

“ This project is about resolving the conflicted feelings I've experienced as a Southerner. I chose to explore the South on back roads, across railroad tracks, into hollows. In so doing, I found I could appreciate my home despite its failings.”

A Love Letter to Appalachia

Photos by Roger May

Photographer Roger May was born in the Tug River Valley on the West Virginia/Kentucky border. His work is, he says, “a visual love letter to Appalachia, the land of my blood. This is my testimony of how I came to see the importance of home and my connection to place.”

Pictures of Us

Photos from The Do Good Fund Collection

A Columbus, Georgia, nonprofit has been building an incredible collection of contemporary Southern photography — not only for the sake of art, but also to provoke discussions among Southerners about our history, our present and our prospects for the future.

I Miss Kentucky, Always

Photos by Charlotte Alexander Strode

"I miss Kentucky, always. I try to go there as often as I can, but mostly it’s just once or twice a year, crammed between New York City and family in Maine and family in Rhode Island. But to me, it’s home and will always be so."


Photos by Amanda Greene

After 17 years in California, Athens, Georgia, photographer Amanda Greene recaptures scenes from her Southern childhood.

Meat and Three & Ten Dollars Worth of Regular

Photos by Kate Medley

On two-lane highways up and down the Mississippi Delta, the gas station has become the local restaurant. And the home of some great Southern cooking.

Acadian Azaleas, 1979

Photos by Rick Oliver

Rick Olivier had spent his entire life in the bayou country of Acadiana on the west bank of the Mississippi. At 21 years old in 1979, fresh out of college at Nicholls State in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. He spent the summer shooting photos of bayou folks with their azalea bushes.

The Threads Wind Westward

Photos by Lawson Little

Lawson Little’s camera has followed country music’s great migrations — from Appalachia to Bakersfield — for more than 40 years.

Made in Durham

Photos by Justin Cook

Justin Cook's project, 10 years in the making, explores the effects of homicide, incarceration and urban renewal in Durham, North Carolina.